An Introduction to Lime in Building

An Introduction to Lime in Building

SPAB Traditional Building Materials and Skills Courses at Coleshill, in association with the National Trust

11/11/2021 - 11/11/2021
Course Type: 


Introductory, Intermediate, General Interest, CPD
Conservation Skills Centre
Coleshill Home Farm,
SN6 7PT, Coleshill, near Swindon
United Kingdom

£150 pp

Event details

An Introduction to Lime in Building

11 November 2021
Conservation Skills Centre, Coleshill Home Farm (National Trust), Coleshil, near Swindon, SN6 7PT
£150 pp   FULLY BOOKED
This event is currently full. Please join the waiting list and you will be notified if spaces become available.

This one-day course led by expert tutors is ideal for anyone new to using lime in building or keen to expand their basic understanding. Through a combination of illustrated talks and practical demonstrations, it will explain the different forms of lime available and look at a range of uses, from pointing to plastering and lime washing.    

The course will be delivered by a specifier (Marianne Suhr), conservation builder (Rob Workman) and experienced lime plasterer (Michal Wolf). The small group setting will allow plenty of opportunity for questions and discussion.   

This beginner / intermediate course will appeal to builders already working with lime and looking to extend their knowledge, or who want to begin using lime. It is also suitable for owners of period houses or other old buildings looking to develop their understanding of traditional materials, and specifiers wishing to develop or enhance their understanding of lime and its many applications.   

The SPAB is an IHBC recognised CPD provider and attendance certificates for CPD are available on request. Spaces are limited to allow for small group learning. 


Introduction to Lime and Hot Limes in Building course package*: 
The Introduction to Lime course will also provide valuable background knowledge to anyone wishing to also attend the Hot Limes course the following day. These courses can be booked together as a package for the special price of £270 pp. 
*This package option is now fully booked and closed. 



Thursday, 11 November 2021
09:00   Registration 
09:30   Welcome
09:45   Introduction to lime - practical demonstrations
            - the Lime Cycle, the raw material, slaking, mixing, carbonation  
            - looking at sands  
            - understanding hydrated limes (wet and dry hydrates)
            - cold and hot mixing mortars
10:45   Break
11:00   Hands-on session
            Group A - plastering
            Group B - mixing mortars 
12:00   Hands-on session
            Group A - mixing mortars
            Group B - plastering
13:00   Lunch
13:45   Practical demonstrations
            - mixing and applying a limewash
            - hydraulic lime explained
            - demonstration of mixing hydraulic lime
15:15   Break
15:30   Case study, presented by Marianne Suhr
16:00   Plaster and render case studies, presented by Michal Wolf
16:30   Case study, presented by Rob Workman
17:00   Close


Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): 
The course will take place in a workshop. Delegates should wear suitable clothing and sturdy footwear. PPE (hi viz, goggles, gloves) and all tools and materials will be provided. Delegates are welcome to bring their own goggles and gloves if they wish. 


Please contact the SPAB before booking to discuss any special access requirements.



Marianne Suhr - historic buildings surveyor
Marianne is a chartered building surveyor, writer and broadcaster specialising in the repair of historic buildings. After completing a scholarship with the SPAB, she spent seven years in architectural practice. Marianne gave up her desk job to concentrate on practical building projects, whilst co- presenting three series of BBC2’s ‘Restoration’ programme. She has repaired and adapted four houses of her own, and used the experience gained to set up ‘The Old House Consultancy’. Marianne lectures extensively on building repair and runs courses for builders, homeowners and professionals. 

Michal Wolf - plasterer and conservator in lime
Michal is the founder of All Things Lime, a small but dynamic company which helps owners of traditional buildings and national charities to look after their historic buildings. Michal believes in a positive and sensible approach towards caring for historic buildings, and is also interested in traditional methods of working and keeping the craft alive by researching and using different lime plasters (such as chalk lime and hot lime). 

Rob Workman - heritage consultant
Rob has over 15 years specialist experience in the heritage construction sector - project managing conservation building works utilising traditional craft skills and appropriate materials and, more recently, as a conservation officer for South Oxfordshire and Vale White Horse District Councils. Rob now runs his own historic building and heritage planning consultancy, Lime&Listed, in South Oxfordshire.


Traditional Building Materials and Skills Courses at Coleshill
This course is part of an exciting new series of practical courses offered by the SPAB in association with the National Trust and held at its training centre on the beautiful Coleshill estate in Oxfordshire.  Focusing on traditional skills and materials, particularly lime, and delivered by expert tutors, these courses combine introductory talks with demonstrations and hands-on skills teaching.  With small group sizes and a practical focus, there’s plenty of time for questions and discussion with tutors and fellow participants, and opportunity to try, develop or extend craft and building skills in a workshop setting. 

Other courses in this series include:
An Introduction to Lime Plastering, 8 - 9 October 2021
An Introduction to Letter Cutting in Stone, 22 - 24 October 2021
Hot Limes in Building, 12 November 2021


COVID-19 Health and Safety Measures: Government COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted in England, but we recommend that all delegates bring and wear their own mask during the workshop. Hand washing stations and hand sanitiser will be available. If you have any symptoms of Coronavirus (COVID-19) - a new, continuous cough; high temperature; a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste - or have been in close contact with someone who has symptoms of the virus, we ask that you inform us immediately and do not attend the workshop. Our measures are subject to change in accordance with Government guidelines. 


Booking Terms & Conditions


Image credit: Ralph Hodgson

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